I’m not exactly sure how to describe Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, but I can say that I can’t put the book down. I’m a few pages away from finishing it (devoured it in 3 days) and it resonated deeply with my being as a black woman. Her combination of poetry, essays and what I would call think pieces weave together to form an intricate and important collection of timely work in a society undoubtedly fueled by race.
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Word to @dee1music
That’s right. Sallie Mae aka Navient, EDU Financial, all them hoes. DONE. With all of the madness happening, this definitely brings some much needed balance and happiness in my life 🙂
Once again, it’s ON! I’m resurrecting another classic episode of The B Side Show for your listening pleasure. This was a great episode featuring my interview with Anshia B. Crooms (formerly Anshia B. Tull) of Project Hygiene http://projecthygiene.org/. With the holidays just around the corner, this is a great time to revisit this show and focus on the importance of giving back. Project Hygiene is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to support underprivileged youth, ages 10-18 by promoting health and wellness while denouncing bullying. Through generous donations of personal hygiene products from supporters, Project Hygiene has been able to donate thousands of products to hundreds of adolescents across the country who could not afford or gain access to them. This interview was taped over 4 years ago when the organization was in its infancy but I am happy to report that the organization is still going strong and making a difference with every child reached. Check out the interview below!
The B Side Show Podcast #50 something
Here are a few images from my recent trip to The Grand Canyon. It is without a doubt MASSIVE. So massive that the brain can’t really comprehend how something so vast can be created and sustained pretty much on its own. The challenge in capturing something so immense (mid day on a beautiful sunny day might I add) is trying to figure out how to not make the images appear flat and boring. I focused on perspective in a few shots by comparing something tiny such as a group of tourists or one person to The Grand Canyon and also had some fun with the editing. Overall, it was a great trip and a photography bucket list item that I can now cross off 🙂 Check out my images below!
We also made a stop to The Hoover Dam.
And here’s someone doing exactly what the tour guide told us not to do. There’s always one…and in this case, I saw more than one person standing on the rocks on this sunny but quite windy day just to get a photo. This was the only person I managed to take a photo of.
I’m taking it back, way back! 10 years or so ago I created The B Side Show Podcast. The idea began with my frustration while a student at CSB (great school) with traditional FM radio and its limitations. The same songs being played every hour, the same dry talk breaks, interviews with artists who weren’t saying much with their music or in their interviews and hosts who didn’t ask the thought provoking questions that I thought should have been asked OR discussing topics that I felt were important enough for some air time. Back then, no one knew what a podcast was. People were still beginning to understand and accept the concept of satellite radio and paying for exclusive radio content so the idea of an online radio show kept many scratching their heads. Now, everyone and they mama has a podcast. I noticed the change in tide and began seeing the over saturation of the podcast platform early on, right around the time that I began expanding my brand and began falling in love with photography and video productions. By the time my last show aired, there were new podcasts by big named celebrities and public figures popping up weekly and the concept of playing music from artists not heard on traditional radio was something that had made its way into the mainstream. In short, everyone was doing it. I decided to cease production of the show (better to end on top) and rebrand the idea of the show to focus on my photography and visual arts. Thus thebsideshow.com became shavonmeyers.com and my popular podcast episodes remained idle on various external drives.
(Me at CSB as a student working on The B Side Show)
I recently started thinking about The B Side Show and how FIYAH it was (fire emoji). I will pat myself all the way on the back because I was a one woman band. I filled the role of creator, host, producer, engineer, editor, talent relations etc. I was the show! I contacted and interviewed every artist on the show, created every playlist, recorded every interview with the artists, held down the website and posted every edition of the show myself. I did all of that and promoted the show without any type of machine behind me. I managed to gain listeners across the country AND globe. People as far as Africa, Alaska and Asia have heard my voice via The B Side Show and for that I am forever grateful. Again, I have to stress, this was 10 years ago when it wasn’t as easy as it is now. There was a lot to learn but I managed to do it and put together some amazing radio content. Content so dope that the shows have a fantastic shelf life, which brings me to now: I’m posting old episodes of my show for those who have never heard it AND for the overnight “radio hosts” that pop up daily…because, levels. I also had a full time radio job at Sirius XM which kept me on my toes and my skills sharp because I worked on live radio broadcasts everyday. I don’t know who in the terrestrial FM radio world besides talk radio shows actually do FULL LIVE radio broadcasts everyday but being in that environment made me the radio beast that I became. So here we are. Me with tons of content a decade later and a platform to share it. I’m unlocking the vault and rereleasing some of my old shows for the next few months or until I get tired of hearing myself again. The first oldie but goodie comes at a perfect time. The year is 2007 and I decided to tackle the gay marriage conversation on my 8th show. MY 8TH SHOW EVER, lol. I went straight for the jugular clearly and despite the freedom of shows today, back then no one was really talking about these topics while playing “B Side” songs and songs from newer artists. The topic of gay marriage was quite controversial then, even our beloved President Obama at the time did not fully support it so my views were probably considered a little on the radical side since most people were not willing to say out loud on a public platform that they supported gay marriages. Other than the somewhat dated material, the show still sounds amazing technically, playlist is still fresh and I think I did a damn good job for it being my 8th completed show. Listen below and you be the judge!
Just in time for Pride month I present: The B Side Show #8 “Gay Marriages” Air Date: Winter 2007.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…PRIDE! If you don’t know, I support the LGBTQ community to the fullest and since 2011 (WOW that feels like yesterday) I have walked in the NYC Pride Parade with my cousin and her wife. I captured some pretty epic footage the first year that we walked in the parade and decided to bring it back just in time for this year’s celebration. This is all raw footage of the day but it does a pretty good job of showing just how much fun the Pride Parade is. Enjoy!
This isn’t entirely new news, but it’s new to me and since I made the trip down the block to my local library to renew my library card (I didn’t know they expired) specifically to try this app out, I thought I’d share the info with a few other New Yorkers who might not be aware of it. Simply put, the New York Public library decided to move with the change and now has an app that will allow you to “borrow” ebooks. The best part about it? No late fees! You download the app, enter your library card’s barcode number and pin and off you go! Like the library however, not all books are immediately available for download, some have waiting lists. For these books, you can reserve them through the app and then see a time period of when the book will be available. As a test, I reserved George Orwell’s 1984 which isn’t currently available for immediate download. There is a 4 week waiting period before an e version will be available (no coincidence there, this country is definitely starting to look eerily similar to the pages of the novel). If you enjoy reading and not paying late fees, check out the SimplyE NYPL app.
That’s right. The good people over at Human Utility are sick of the shit and figured out a way for anyone with a little extra to give (and I do mean little, smallest donation can be $5) to help a family, elderly person or someone in need pay for something that should honestly be given free of charge in this land of milk and honey, water. Last year the city of Detroit resumed its practice of shutting off water to residents unable to pay their water bill. In case you missed it, Detroit was labeled the poorest big city in the U.S. in 2015 and it was recently reported that the poverty level among Michigan’s children is higher now than it was during the recession in 2008. Head over to the Human Utility website for more information and if you can, consider helping out someone in need of this basic necessity.
Busy this Friday?
If not, come out and support:
BKC’s #RESIST Photo Show + Print Sale Friday 3/17/17!
The show will feature some of my photography in addition to other fellow photographers and BKC members. ALL proceeds will be donated to The Reproductive Health Access Project and The Ali Forney Center. That’s right, buy one of my or any other photographer’s prints and the proceeds will go directly to these two organizations. Come out and support a great cause!